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Sources of Life. Food and water sustainability in Abbasid Baghdad

08 jun 2022 18:00 - 19:30
IEA de Paris
17 quai d'Anjou
75004 Paris

Conference by Hugh Kennedy (SOAS, London) and Maaike van Berkel (Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands), as part of the colloquium Interdisciplinary Sources & Methods for the Study of Pre-Archival Societies: The Case of Baghdad, organized by Nassima Neggaz, New College of Florida, 2021-2022 Paris IAS Fellow, and Vanessa Van Renterghem, Inalco, CERMOM.


Managing access to clean water and large quantities of grain and other foodstuffs was essential for the development of an exceedingly large city such as Baghdad under the Abbasids. With half a million or more inhabitants this was not an easy task. Still we do not fully understand how this was achieved. Existing historical approaches still often frame the institutional arrangements of Middle Eastern cities in relation to the premodern European city and emphasize the institutional weakness of the former. Yet how, then, did these cities support their numerous populations under challenging circumstances? In this combined presentation Hugh Kennedy will discuss the availability of river transport while Maaike van Berkel investigates the multiple water systems that functioned in Abbasid Baghdad and the source(s) of their sustainability.

Free entrance upon mandatory registration (see form below).

Date dépassée
Sunni & Shi‘i Memories: Remembering 1258 after 2003
01 September 2021 - 30 June 2022
08 Jun 2022 19:30
Nassima Neggaz
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